“We’ve come a long way, but we’ve still a long way to go.” – Cissy
Cecilia Suyat went to Columbia University to study as a stenographer and then became an employee at the NAACP where she met many influential people working towards civil rights. She reflects on working in the New York offices of the NAACP as a blessing, possibly from her guardian angel. Although they were working towards equality, she was fearful of Thurgood Marshall’s marriage proposal to her. Although not black or white, many people still treated her as a foreigner. Her sons are Thurgood Marshall Jr. and John W. Marshall.
This interview is from the Library of Congress, conducted on June 30th 2013 by Emilye Crosby. Only 435 people have viewed this YouTube video as of this posting. Share Cecilia’s voice this FAHM. Thanks, dc
What is the historical connection between Black and Brown peoples?How do we view race in America today? What can change the structural problems we face? Why do Black issues matter to others?
We are bruised and battered by racism together. Black, Police, or Filipino – we seek change.
The #BlackBlueBrown discussion panel grew from Greater Seattle FANHS’ sharing our solidarity to recognize historic activism against racial inequality for events in Ferguson and abroad. We celebrate Black History month and also bring awareness that Filipino Americans are commonly connected in seeking social justice. We seek to talk with our community, engage common institutions, and bring positive change through education. EVENT: February 25th, 5pm – 8pm Seattle University, Bannan Auditorium #102, Science Building. PANELISTS:
Our community panelists and audience members are invited to talk about their perspectives and collaborate on ideas of race and transformative change. Panelists will first discuss their perspectives and continue with open Q&A.Sponsored by the Seattle University United Filipino Club, Office of Multicultural Affairs, and the Greater Seattle Chapter of the Filipino American National Historical Societyhttps://fanhs-seattle.org/@SeattleUFC
———– PANELIST BIOS ———–
Annie is an educator, lifelong activist, social thinker, and community developer. She developed a strong human rights philosophy and a courage for social justice from when her family came to the USA in 1955. In the Central Area of Seattle she experienced the struggles and accomplishments being a newcomer beyond social hurdles. Since the late 1960’s Annie has galvanized her conscience with influence from: the Civil Rights era, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, the Black Panther Party, Paolo Friere, and the Asian, Native, and Latino movements. As a student activist with Seattle Central and UW she has protested for the Labor movement, Vietnam War, the Kingdome, equal housing, and working wage parity; especially in support for people disregarded by society. As a teacher in higher education provided ground level practicum by assisting a myriad of social service & development organizations like: ACRS, Denise Louie Childcare, El Centro de La Raza, the International District Health Clinic, and Day Break Star. Annie continues to share her voice against ignorance to fight institutionalized racism, racial profiling, media sensationalism and neo-nazi type attitudes that threaten the safety and existence of ethnic communities and religious liberty. ———–
Tyrone is a Seattle-based theatre director and producer. Directing credits include Passing Strange, Black Like Us, Hot Grits: A (Punk) Play On Music, Wreck The Airline Barrier, and Hamlet X. He holds a MFA in Arts Leadership from Seattle University, Bachelors of Arts in Theatre from Western Washington University, and is an alumni of the Drama League Directing Program in New York. He is currently the artistic director of Brownbox Theatre, a company dedicated to the creation, development, and production of re-imagined Black theater. ———–
Ofc. Kevin Stuckey
Officer KevinStuckey been an officer in the Seattle Police Department for 20 years. He is part of the East Precinct community police team, serves on the Police Officers Guild as a board member, and has a seat on the Community Police Commission. In the past he has been a Resource Officer with Seattle Public schools and has continually worked in diverse communities. ———–
Pastor Jason Davison is the husband of Foxy Williams and father to Judah , Zion and Trinity Davison. Jason and Foxy are long-time residents of Seattle and currently have worked and/or lived in the Central District since 1998. Like Foxy, Jason is former tutor in Central and South Seattle schools, and a former classroom teacher with Seattle Public Schools. Jason taught at Cleveland High School prior to moving with Foxy to St. Louis for seminary from 2005 to 2009. While in St. Louis, the Davisons worked in inner city St. Louis and in the Kinloch-Ferguson municipalities of St. Louis County. Jason and Foxy moved back to Seattle in 2009 and served the “CD” as volunteers and educators with Clean Greens Farm, Umojafest P.E.A.C.E. Center, and the Rotary Boys and Girls Club. Jason and Foxy have two children with Sickle Cell Anemia, and Foxy transformed their family’s pain into action by becoming the Metro Sickle Cell Task Force Coordinator through Children’s Hospital, where she provides support and networking for youth and families affected by the disease. Jason also took on the position of Director, for the Hidmo Community Empowerment Project in the Central District, where he worked with artists, activists, and leaders to have community forums around issues of justice in the Central District. In 2011, Jason and Foxy took over ownership of Cortona Café in the CD and turned the café into a non-profit from 2011 through 2014, where they provided space for community meetings and jobs for youth in the community. For three years Cortona helped provide barista training and food justice training for 15 youth in the community. Cortona is now an LLC and the Davisons co-own the shop with their sister Isolynn who has helped spearhead the construction of a “parklet” for the CD in hopes of creating outdoor recreation and poetry readings along Union street. Finally, Jason and Foxy have helped established Jubilee Community Church in the Central District in 2013, of which Jason is the church planter and pastor. The hope and vision of Jubilee is to be a church in touch with the local community and with issues of reconciliation, care for the homeless and marginalized ———–
Marisa is a Chinese/Filipina-American attorney and activist, and a fourth-generation Seattleite. She is a Seattle University School of Law graduate. In 2014 she was selected as the Leadership for Justice Fellow. Marisa’s fellowship is at TeamChild, a civil legal aid organization that serves low-income youth in the juvenile justice system. Marisa is also a board member of the Incarcerated Mothers Advocacy Project (IMAP). IMAP is a coalition of lawyers, law students, social service providers, activists and formerly incarcerated women who seek to change the rights afforded to currently and formerly incarcerated parents. IMAP conducts monthly legal clinics in both of Washington’s women’s prisons. Outside of work, Marisa enjoys marching in the street at community-organized activities, and playing guitar in My Parade, an all People of Color dance punk band. ———–
Dajeanne is a first-year Sullivan Scholar at Seattle University. An alumni of Garfield High School and Seattle Central College, as well as born in Seattle and raised in the Central District by multiracial parents (Filipina, African-American, and Caucasian), she has long been exposed to diverse communities and varying cultures. Since a young age she has been involved in serving her community. First through City Year’s youth Program called Young Heroes then through various organizations including YMCA Black Achievers, Seattle Music Partners, Seattle University’s Just Serve, UNCF, FAEW, the Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Now, as an active participant in Seattle University’s United Filipino Club, Black Student Union, and Just Serve, Dajeanne continues to stay involved. She is currently majoring in International Studies and Public Affairs, and hopes to minor in Political Science so that she can continue to serve her community. ———–
Devin Israel Cabanilla
Devin is an organizational trainer and FANHS member. As Principal Manager of Idea Threads he offers cultural consulting for business and enterprise organizations. Through research work he seeks to educate and expand diversity by sharing intercultural histories from the Northwest. Devin holds an MBA in Project Management & International Business. He continues graduate studies in International Community Development at Northwest University. He has also presented new findings on the Manong generation from Seattle and the Mur-Muray movement. In 2014 he was honored for new research on the Japanese-American Internment. Devin continues to educate on diversity as a guest speaker in local schools, communities, and mentors Christians of Color. He has three children who are now fifth-generation Seattleites. He supports his kids at Massive Monkees Studio: MiniBreaks. Devin is also a contributing writer to GS-FANHS, Sanctuary Church member, and a past dancer of the Filipinyana Dance Troupe. His favorite dance is La Jota Moncadena. He also speaks conversational Ilocano and basic Japanese.
February is recognized as Black History Month (African American History) throughout the United States. The picture posted for this Throwback Thursday is a stark reminder that race issues and concerns experienced by Black people have been intertwined with Brown people as well. People of Color have been part of the U.S. military services for generations and continue to proudly serve beyond the difficult circumstances they faced in our institutions and past systems of segregation.
The artifact pictured above was brought to light to me by FANHS trustee Pio DeCano during a recent conversation about race relations. We both recognized the value of bringing awareness and recognition to the shared struggles our communities have gone through together. It can be easy to forget, but these dark touchstones of the past are necessary as we navigate into the light of the future.
More artifacts and documents around Filipino American history can be found at the Pinoy National Archives in Seattle. Please visit us, and also be on the lookout for future events around Black/Brown history this month.